Green cardamom supplements can protect the liver for those with obesity
10/29/2019 // Melissa Smith // Views

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease today. Fatty liver is commonly caused by excessive alcohol intake. However, as its name implies, NAFLD can develop with little to no alcohol consumption. New research published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggested that people with NAFLD may benefit from taking green cardamom supplements.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a popular spice used in sweet and savory dishes. It comes from the seeds and seed pods of different plants that belong to the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family. There are two main types of cardamom: black cardamom and green cardamom. The former is most often found in India and Asia, while the latter is typically used in Nordic and Middle Eastern cuisine. Green cardamom is also known as true cardamom and is the most commonly found variety in the spice aisle of supermarkets.

Aside from its culinary uses, green cardamom has also been used for medicinal purposes. In the study, a team of researchers from Tehran, Iran looked at its potential to improve NAFLD biomarkers in overweight or obese patients. The research team investigated the effects of green cardamom on serum glucose indices, lipids, and irisin level in overweight or obese people with NAFLD.

They recruited 87 participants who were randomly divided into two groups: a green cardamom treatment group and a placebo group. Participants in the treatment group received 500 mg of green cardamom with meals thrice a day for three months.

The researchers also measured the participants’ levels of fasting blood sugar, insulin, total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. They also measured the levels of irisin, a myokine and adipokine that can influence insulin sensitivity. The participants’ insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance were also measured.


Results showed that the participants in the treatment group experienced significant increases in irisin, HDL cholesterol, and insulin sensitivity. They also experienced lower fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and the grade of fatty liver. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that green cardamom can be a beneficial supplement for overweight or obese people with NAFLD.

Green cardamom in traditional medicine

For centuries, the seeds, oils, and extracts of cardamom have been used by traditional healers to treat various ailments, and many of the spice’s health benefits are backed by scientific literature. Here are several health conditions that can be improved with cardamom:

  • Bad breath – Cardamom can be used to address bad breath. In fact, it is used as an ingredient in some chewing gums. Cardamom’s breath-freshening effect may be due to its ability to kill common mouth bacteria and prevent cavities.
  • Cancer – Animal studies have shown that certain compounds in cardamom may protect against cancer. These compounds also helped suppress the growth of tumors in mice and test tubes.
  • Diabetes – People with diabetes could benefit from taking green cardamom supplements. Animal studies have suggested that cardamom may help reduce high blood sugar levels. However, more human studies are needed to verify this benefit. (Related: Why cardamom should be part of the diet of every diabetic patient.)
  • Digestive problems – In traditional medicine, cardamom is used to help with digestion. It is also mixed with other medicinal spices to relieve discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. One of the most studied properties of cardamom is its potential to heal ulcers. Animal studies have shown that cardamom extract could prevent or reduce the size of gastric ulcers by half. Lab studies have also suggested that the spice may protect against Helicobacter pylori, the bacterial strain associated with the development of most stomach ulcers.
  • High blood pressure – Animal and human studies have reported that cardamom may help lower high blood pressure. This may be due to its high antioxidant content. Some studies have also suggested that it lowers blood pressure by promoting urination to remove excess water buildup in the body.

Read more news and stories on natural, drugless ways of improving NAFLD at

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